Questions about CMYK; short for cyan, magenta, yellow and key(black). It's the colour process and model used for colour visualisation in colour printing. Ask anything relevant to graphic design about the CMYK colour model.

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56
votes
11answers
67k views

What kind of black should I use when designing for CMYK print?

my question is what kind of black should I use when printing. At the moment I use this black (split into CMYK) : C:0% M:0% Y:0% K:100% It looks fine in InDesign or Illustrator but if I save a PDF ...
38
votes
10answers
51k views

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB? Are there other color spaces I should know?

I'm a photographer, who dabbles in graphic design from time to time as well. What are the differences between the various color spaces?
23
votes
10answers
11k views

RGB and CMYK: Why both?

Any of you who have at least little experience with graphic design software, photography or professional printing, must have -almost undoubtedly- have gone through this: 'the struggle' of RGB and CMYK ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it possible to use a fully open source workflow for print design?

Is it possible to use only open-source tools in order to produce professional level artwork? Has anyone actually done it? If not, where are the current gaps? Assume I'm producing a small multi-page ...
19
votes
4answers
11k views

What's the difference between CMYK Black and RGB Black

I know this sounds a stupid question, black is black right? Wrong: It's black right? so why are the CMYK Values so far away from black?
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I make screenshots look good when printed in CMYK?

When printing screenshots alongside black text, black areas of the screenshot look a washed out "muddy dark grey" and "washed out". What causes this and can I improve the black color area?
15
votes
5answers
17k views

What's the point of converting RGB images to CMYK TIF/TIFF before placing them in InDesign?

Currently we receive CMYK TIF/TIFF images of photographs from our design agency (who get them from the photographer). Our in-house designers then place them in InDesign for posters and magazines, or ...
14
votes
4answers
113k views

What CMYK values should I use for rich black, and how should I handle tints/shades?

I'm working on a full color piece in Illustrator which has a few large black and grey areas. I'd like the black to be a rich black. I was thinking c30 m30 y30 k100. What is the best ways to match my ...
11
votes
3answers
66k views

How to prepare a design for CMYK printing?

This was asked in another thread. When I searched to see if this question has been asked before it was not. Per Meta we are encouraged to create threads that show quality solutions or to future ...
10
votes
3answers
24k views

How does a monitor display the CMYK color? Is it actually showing the true CMYK color?

Suppose I'm designing something for printing purposes. Then I need to stick with CMYK model. When ever I'm choosing color while designing, I'm setting color based on what my monitor shows me as CMYK. ...
9
votes
5answers
14k views

What is 5-colour printing?

When my print rep talks about five-colour printing, what does he mean? I know you have cyan, magenta, yellow and black - but what's the fifth?
9
votes
3answers
72k views

Can you convert a neon RGB color to CMYK for printing?

I have a logo that was done with RGB colors, now I have to work with this logo to do something for printing purpuses, the problem is that in the RGB version of the logo I have a shade of green I ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Printing in CMYK

I've designed my first business card and I'm trying to print it via Moo. I designed the card in Photoshop in RGB and Moo is requiring me to save in CMYK. CMYK does not support the colors I've chosen ...
8
votes
1answer
10k views

What is HSB really?

Can any of my graphics designer friends explain HSB to me? I know it's hue/saturation/brightness and I know what those three do (for the most part)... I understand the algorithm of creating colors ...
8
votes
4answers
108k views

how to change the workspace color window from RGB to CMYK mode in Illustrator CS5.1?

I'm using Illustrator CS5.1 and started a new document in RGB mode. When I change the color mode to CMYK under File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color, the Color window in my workspace doesn't ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

If I make a design in RGB mode and then change it to CMYK how will it look when it's printed?

I'm making a business card in Photoshop and it needs to be in CMYK mode. Now, I'm using a logo on it that I previously made for the client in RGB mode and when I put it into the CMYK mode business ...
8
votes
1answer
786 views

if you accidently make a document in working CMYK how can you change it to RGB?

if you accidently make a document in proof setup 'working CMYK' is there any easy way to convert the document to RGB without the colours getting washed out?
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there anything that can read, import or convert CMYK SVG?

Short question: I have SVG files with CMYK colours, specified as according to the SVG specs. I want to get this into a design program - any design program - to finalise the design and prepare it to ...
7
votes
2answers
868 views

RGB Vs CMYK : Deciphering gradient transitions in different colour modes

This issue may be related to Photoshop or to colour modes in general but this is what I am trying to figure out. The image below is from a CMYK file with two layers. It has two duo colour gradients. ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How to keep printed documents accurate color reproduction

Is there a way to widen the gamut of a CMYK print so that the darks stay dark and the lights stay light? I suspect it has something to do with color space being exported, but I don't know how to ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

When should I use rich black?

What kind of black should I use when designing for print ? explains what rich black is, but when should it be used? If it gives a "blacker black", why not use it for all black elements in a CMYK job (...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

spot color print - how to indicate white

I prefer to work with the web, so it's been forever since I've worked with a printer. Just received this message back regarding a doc utilizing white ink. How can I accomplish this in Adobe ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What 4c process blend best represents a yellow highlighter?

I'm creating a letter and want to include a highlighted section, I'm trying to find the best CMYK blend that represents that when printed.
6
votes
2answers
224 views

Maximum CMYK sum value for colors when printing?

I have a lot of dark brown in my artwork designed in photoshop, which is C73-M62-Y98-K73. Does it matter that the sum is over 300%? Should I be limiting my colours to a certain percentage?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Simplest set of inks that could print the RGB gamut?

Artist Tauba Auberbach produced this recently: It's called RGB Colourspace Atlas, and is a physical, printed book of what it implies is the whole RGB colour space. Is there an existing ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Help me understand how the “RGB Colorspace Atlas” by artist Tauba Auerbach was made

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/09/tauba-auerbachs-rgb-colorspace-atlas-depicts-every-color-imaginable/ The "RGB Colorspace Atlas" by artist Tauba Auerbach is supposedly every RGB color, "printed" ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

CMYK to PANTONE differences between Illustrator and Photoshop

I'm trying to find a way to match CMYK color to the closest PANTONE solid color. In Illustrator I use the "Recolor Artwork" dialog, in Photoshop the color dialog. But, if I convert (C=0, M=100, Y=100, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

CMYK JPEGs extracted from PDF appear inverted

I am having to deal with CMYK JPEGs extracted from a PDF source. The PDFs were created with Photoshop. The problem is that Photoshop stores JPEG CMYK data in PDF/EPS using "normal" values, whereas in ...
6
votes
2answers
70 views

Total ink coverage on CMYK digital printing

Is there a simple way to calculate ink coverage when printing from *.pdf ? I work at a digital printing studio and just got a new machine. With the machine came some cost tables which provides info ...
5
votes
2answers
28k views

Problem converting color from RGB to CMYK for print

I designed a poster in CorelDraw X5 for printing purposes. I was told by the Printshop guy to use colors only in CMYK. For the most part I did, I don't know why I missed it but I used one color in RGB ...
5
votes
1answer
78k views

How to pick a specific Pantone color in Photoshop? What about finding a Pantone that is close to a specific CMYK color?

How would I select a specific Pantone color in Photoshop, e.g. PMS 5625? Also, how do you pick a Pantone colour that is similar to a specific CMYK color, e.g. C61, M41, Y58, K16 green? In this ...
5
votes
6answers
11k views

Good and Cheap alternatives to Photoshop for CMYK

I have been using GIMP for many years and do not want to go through the expense and learning curve issues of Creative Suite/Photoshop but occasionally I may need a CMYK file. Other than the Separate/...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it normal to send a CMYK file without an embedded color profile?

I've been sent a number of CMYK tiff images for some custom processing in Photoshop. These are expensively-shot images (Hasselblad digital body, full studio setup, already processed in Photoshop CC) ...
5
votes
3answers
19k views

Is there a freely available CMYK color chart that I can print on press and work with?

After reading the answers to my previous questions, How does a monitor display the CMYK color? Is it actually showing the true CMYK color? I'm very much convinced that I need to profile my monitor if ...
4
votes
4answers
15k views

Pantone color conversions

I am a bit of a newbie with using pantones and the pantone color guide. I am currently working on a branding project where we will have print material in both pantone and cmyk, and also on screen rgb ...
4
votes
1answer
30k views

Saving a document in photoshop CMYK turns SOME black into gray

I am creating a rather big photoshop document 3000x3000 which i want to print. I thought i took all the precautions: CMYK color mode 300ppi save as pdf and so on Still when i save the picture as pdf ...
4
votes
2answers
284 views

Ensure a document is ready for 4 color printing

If my document only uses pantone colors does this mean it is ready for 4 color printing?
4
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I save an image with CMYK in Paint.NET?

I'm more comfortable with resizing/cropping images in Paint.NET. My wife needs to submit a portrait for something and the requirements are a 3x5 300 DPI JPG or TIFF in CMYK. I can handle the size and ...
4
votes
1answer
470 views

How do I edit my CMYK greens to output as brightly as possible?

Converting my photoshop work from RGB to CMYK to send to print. Found out today that RGB has a much broader and vibrant colour array than CMYK. Trying to edit the values, saturation, brightness, ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are my printed colors duller than expected?

Basically, I've designed a booklet on Photoshop CC. It's an informational booklet so it's quite vibrant with lots of colours and pictures in it. I've finished it and exported all the files into PDF ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Mismatched CMYK Values

I have a strange problem with Illustrator. The company I am working with has a stock hex colour - #0074aa (1). According to online conversion sites, this hex code translates to the CMYK of: C: 100 ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there an easy way to do coarse halftone color separations?

It used to be a piece of cake using Postscript. But Adobe has long since dropped that feature (so far as I can tell). I have a CMYK design I want to give to my silk screener to do some T-shirts. He ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

How do I simulate in Photoshop what a piece will look like when printed on non-white paper?

I'm designing a box in Photoshop that will be offset printed on unbleached paper. I haven't picked out a printer yet, so I don't know the exact kind of paper I'll be using and don't have access to it ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

PDF CMYK export in Inkscape

I'm trying to use the PDF CMYK export plugin for Inkscape, but it fails when I save the document. I have selected an ICC profile (A FOGRA39L.icc profile) and applied it to most of the colors in my ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Colouring illustrations - RGB or CMYK?

I am in the process of colouring a series of hand-drawn illustrations in Photoshop using a graphics tablet. The colouring process takes place mostly using Photoshop's native drawing tools - the pencil,...
4
votes
3answers
558 views

Rich black : faded gray appears colored

I have a question about using rich black for a print document. In InDesign, I set a rich black color for the background (0/80/0/100), and I need to set a faded round gray shape, with an opacity around ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are my converted CMYK blacks coming out grey?

I'm having a rather annoying problem! I have RGB images made in Photoshop that I need to convert to CMYK. When I save the file my black background is converted to a light grey! I tried deleting my ...
3
votes
11answers
29k views

How can I find out what RGB colors a website uses?

I want to learn the CMYK/RGB or any other details of a colour on a website. Say the side/background of this very website. I want to recreate that colour. Can anyone help me? Or is there any specific ...
3
votes
7answers
17k views

What tools can I use to create Fractal Art?

There are many fractal generation softwares such as the free Xaos and Fractal Architect 2. I normally use Mathematica to generate fractals and process them later with editing tool but this time have ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the term for CMYK ink proof/tests that are printed on inconspicuous places of packaging, newspapers, etc?

I'm looking to place the color proof/test somewhere on the printable area of a box. The problem is that I don't know what they are called and where to get information about them (pattern, template, ...